Liberians Facing Enormous Unmet Needs

MSF Reinforces Teams With Volunteers and Material

Monrovia/Paris, June 20, 2003 - Even with a recently signed cease-fire signed between Liberia's warring parties, civilian populations are still in an extremely precarious condition, the international medical humanitarian aid organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today. MSF reinforced its teams and sent 15 tons of medical and logistic material to help the displaced population of Monrovia and Bong County.

"The needs are enormous and are far from being met," said Pierre Mendiharat, Head of Mission for MSF in Liberia.

The risk of epidemics, already higher during the rainy season, has increased dramatically because of the huge numbers of people displaced by the violence and fighting since early June. There are also immediate needs for food as the number of malnourished children continues to increase.

In Samuel Doe stadium, where approximately 15,000 people have sought refuge, MSF continues to provide clean water and opened a clinic with a maternity ward and an isolation unit for cholera patients.

The teams from MSF are running mobile clinics to Ganersville, Clara Town, and Mamba Point, providing people who have been spread out across wide areas with basic primary health care. An emergency therapeutic feeding center was opened to treat severely malnourished children.

MSF also resumed some medical activities for displaced people living in camps in Montserrado County. The medical team is performing 4,000 consultations per week in Bong County, where there are approximately 50,000 displaced people living in camps.

A full charter with 15 tons of surgical, medical, logistic materials arrived today in Monrovia, including medicines, supplementary and therapeutic feeding kits, emergency water and sanitation supplies, and a material to support a 30 bed hospital for 3 months.

11 MSF international volunteers are currently providing aid in Liberia, and the teams will be reinforced as soon as possible.